I pride myself on creating something out of nothing. That’s what writers do, we make shit up. Giving names to characters is one of my favorite pastimes. I try to nail a personality with a name helping myself out down the line as I move forward creating adventures and crises for said character to overcome. Chadwick and Guy Simms are planted firmly in my mind. As are Dalton Spoon and Gracie. I was the self proclaimed queen of made up names.
Then I moved to Portland, Maine. Since then, I have met real life characters with names I could only dream of making up. Garbo Seltzer. Really? I even asked her if I could borrow her name. It’s a classic. She could be a whodunit maven, a female Ellery Queen. Or perhaps an ex silent film star who has taken up with the Nazi’s in Paris. Let alone just a great neighbor who has her own story to tell. I thought about names while scrolling through my cell phone. Along with Garbo Seltzer, I came upon Ervin Mullet and Chellie Landline.
I used to look through the white pages for inspiration (For those of you born after 1985, that is a free book with phone numbers listed alphabetically and dropped off at your door by invisible people at 3 A.M.). But now all I really have to do is look through my cell phone or shake someones hand when walking down the street.
Better yet, dear readers. Perhaps you can send me some great names, with your blessing that I put them in the next great American novel, of course.